17 January, 2021

The Belief Of Insurrection

The Wailing Wall (or is it the al-Aqsa) sparks off Intifada part II

The Belief Of Insurrection

When Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would say that he was born near al-Buraq, or the wall adjacent to the al-Aqsa mosque in the old city of Jerusalem, he was only emphasising the supreme importance the city had in the national consciousness of Palestinians. For, Arafat was born in Cairo, and yet felt compelled to establish links with a shrine that is holy to both the Muslims and the Jews.

Indeed, in a land where histories overlap, it's perhaps not surprising to find votaries of two religions lay exclusive claims to a common shrine. But that it should scupper the peaceful resolution of the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians only highlights the unwarranted mingling of religion and nationality to form a deadly cocktail.

Arafat's al-Buraq was the mythical animal Mohammad rode on his journey from Mecca to Jerusalem. The place where he hid the animal is called al-Buraq, which to the Jews is the Wailing Wall, or the remnants of the outer wall of the Temple Mount that was destroyed 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Indeed, when histories intertwine, different names...



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